Status update

log entries have been sparse over the past few months as I’ve been focusing on completing my thesis. I’m nearly there: the final document is about 85% done, the defense is booked, my examining committee is finalized, and I’m slowly checking off the myriad paperwork items that go along with completing a graduate degree. I’m excited to be in this position after two and a half years of steady work toward it. I’m also quite pleased with how the thesis has come together. Let’s hope my committee feels the same way!

Here are the title and abstract:

Residential resource use feedback: Exploring ambient and artistic approaches

Supporting sustainable resource use in the home requires a range of feedback techniques to enable informed decision-making. These techniques include traditional screen-based interfaces, but such tools typically require significant effort and attention from residents. Though they provide precise numerical feedback, they do not support at-a-glance awareness of real-time resource use, nor are they designed to integrate cohesively with the home. An alternative approach is the provision of ambient and artistic visualizations integrated into the domestic environment. To situate this approach, we describe our involvement in the development of feedback and control systems for two sustainable homes. Following from this, we present the results of a mixed methods user study exploring four primary design requirements for ambient and artistic visualization of residential resource use: pragmatic, aesthetic, ambient and ecological. We conclude that these techniques are a viable approach to resource use feedback, and identify important considerations for their design.

The defense information is as follows:

Tuesday February 22nd, 2011
11am to 1pm
SFU Surrey, Room 4040

Chair: Dr. Marek Hatala, Associate Professor, SIAT
Senior Supervisor: Dr. Lyn Bartram, Assistant Professor, SIAT
Supervisor: Dr. Alissa Antle, Assistant Professor, SIAT
External Examiner: Dr. Melanie Tory, Assistant Professor, Department of Computer Science, University of Victoria